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October 07, 2016

13 New TV Shows We’re Falling For

Text by Tanisha Choudhury

From semi-autobiographical comedies by funny women to dystopic sci-fi thrillers, there’s something for everyone this fall

A result of the introduction of Netflix in India as well the influx of more American TV shows on channels like Star World Premiere HD and Comedy Central is the increase in the amount of must-see TV shows available to Indians. While it’s nearly impossible to list all of the new shows worth watching, we’ve compiled a list of the shows that we’re most excitedly anticipating.

1. Better Things

What it’s about: A single mom trying to raise her three daughters while also struggling to make a living as an actress in L.A.

Who is in it: Created by and starring Pamela Adlon (Louis C.K.’s partner and co-star on Louie), the series has been co-created by Louis C.K.

Why we’re excited: Based on Adlon’s own life experiences, we know the show is going to be gritty, funny and full of dysfunction. Her voice is one that deserves to be heard and we’re expecting the show to occupy a similar space between humour and pathos that Louie did.

2. Atlanta

What it’s about: Two cousins trying to make their way up through the Atlanta rap scene. One is an ambitious college dropout, down on his luck and the other is his cousin who suddenly makes a hit single.

Who is in it: Created by and starring Donald Glover, the actor known for Community and The Martian.

Why we’re excited: Glover, who is also the rapper known as Childish Gambino, and has written on 30 Rock previously, will finally get a vehicle to showcase all his talents. This darkly funny show is already garnering buzz and acclaim for its specificity of writing, and of mood.

3. This Is Us

What it’s about: A drama about a group of seemingly random people who share the same birthday and whose lives intersect.

Who is in it: Starring Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore and Sterling K. Brown, the show was created by Dan Fogelman, the writer of Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Tangled.

Why we’re excited: This melodrama is perfect for lovers of Parenthood and Grey’s Anatomy. Full of heartwarming, tear-jerker family moments, prepare to have your heartstrings tugged and your tissue box handy.

4. Westworld

What it’s about: An adaptation of a 1973 film of the same name, Westworld is set is a futuristic, wild west theme park populated by androids. The park allows visitors to fulfill every fantasy they want, no matter how depraved.

Who is in it: Co-created by Jonathan Nolan, whose previous writing credits include Interstellar, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Night and The Prestige, and produced by J.J. Abrams. The series has a stellar cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden and Thandie Newton among others.

Why we’re excited: Even though Game of Thrones isn’t over yet, most fans spend most of the year awaiting the return of the show. To fill that gap, HBO has already lined up its replacement of sorts in the form of Westworld. We’re intrigued by the premise, excited about the talent behind the show, and awaiting all the mystery, debauchery and sci-fi twists that are sure to come.

5. Queen Sugar

What it’s about: Set in Louisiana, the series follows the lives of three siblings who are forced to deal with the family’s sugarcane farm, after the death of their father.

Who is in it: Created by two powerful women – Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay.

Why we’re excited: Apart from the fact that we’re looking forward to see Ava DuVernay’s next project after Selma, we also think the talent behind the show could create an emotional and powerful drama. For lovers of family epics, this beautifully shot and well acted show will be perfect.

6. Luke Cage

What it’s about: Part of Marvel’s television universe, Luke Cage is the story of a man who gains super strength and durability after an experiment goes wrong. After escaping from prison, where he was wrongly accused and sent, he becomes a superhero for hire.

Who is in it: Mike Colter stars as Luke Cage, a character he first played on Jessica Jones. Rosario Dawson will play a supporting character.

Why we’re excited: This is going to be the go-to show this season for fans of the superhero genre, but we have high hopes for this show mostly because of how well-made and gripping the first season of Jessica Jones was. If the Marvel television universe can keep up the same standards, the show is sure to be a winner.

7. The Good Place 

What it’s about: A woman dies and goes to heaven, only she’s not supposed to be there.

Who is in it: Starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, the show has been created by Mike Schur, the man behind Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine Nine.

Why we’re excited: While we would watch anything created by Mike Schur, the man who brought us some of our favourite comedies, we are especially looking forward to seeing how the high-concept premise of this show is dealt with.

8. Divorce

What it’s about: A real look at a couple going through a divorce.

Who is in it: Sarah Jessica Parker stars in this show that has been created by Sharon Horgan, the creator, writer and actress of Catastrophe.

Why we’re excited: Apart from this marking the return of SJP to the small screen after 12 years, we’re most excited by the fact that she has taken on a dark character so very unlike Carrie Bradshaw and we can’t wait to see the actress digging into such a meaty part.

9. Chance

What it’s about: After getting too involved in a patient’s affairs, a neuro-psychiatrist gets increasingly entangled in a dangerous and violent world of mistaken identity, police corruption and mental illness in San Fransisco.

Who is in it: Hugh Laurie stars in this thriller which has a few episodes directed by Lenny Abramson, the director of the film Room.

Why we’re excited: The premise of the show sounds mysterious enough, but also, Hugh Laurie is once again playing a strange doctor with a cool last name! We couldn’t be more excited.

10. Designated Survivor

What it’s about: A low level cabinet member suddenly becomes President of the United States after a deadly attack kills everyone above him in the presidential line of succession.

Who is in it: Kiefer Sutherland is back on TV (and in the White House) alongside actors like Kal Penn and Maggie Q.

Why we’re excited: While initial reviews indicate that the show can be slightly on-the-nose with its dialogue, and contrived in its plotting, it seems to be an ideal mix of political drama and action-thriller sequences. Also, watching Sutherland play a too-idealistic-to-be-a-politician character sounds fun.

11. Son of Zorn

What it’s about: A He-man like barbarian father decides to leave behind his war-torn island in the Pacific Ocean to reconnect with his moody, teenage son who lives with his ex-wife and her new husband in Orange County, California.

Who is in it: Starring Tim Meadows and the voice of Jason Sudeikis, the show has been executive produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the guys behind the hilarious film The Lego Movie.

Why we’re excited: This almost experimental comedy is part live action and part animation (hence the titular Zorn is voiced by Jason Sudeikis). If they get the tone of the humour right, we think the premise and whatever of its treatment we’ve seen from the trailers, could make for a very funny, if slightly bizarre show.

12. One Mississippi

What it’s about: Comedian Tig Notaro plays a fictionalised version of herself in this comedy that follows her return to her hometown in Mississippi after the sudden death of her mother.

Who is in it: Apart from being created by and starring the comedian Tig Notaro, the show has been produced by Louis C.K and Diablo Cody and has been directed by Nicole Holofcener, who also directed the film Enough Said.

Why we’re excited: The talent behind it is enough to give us confidence in the show. It also continues the current trend of semi-autobiographical stories by comedians that depict their very specific take on the world and usually have a darkly humorous tone. Taking on difficult subjects like grief, we’re sure the show will have a unique, emotional and funny voice.

13. The Crown

What it’s about: This historical drama focuses on the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding day through her reign to the present day. The first season will follow the 25 year old queen as she faces the daunting task of leading the British monarchy.

Who is in it: Created by Peter Morgan who is known for writing films like Rush, The Queen and Frost/Nixon among others. Claire Foy will star as the young queen with Matt Smith playing Prince Philip and John Lithgow playing Winston Churchill.

Why we’re excited: This Netflix original delves deep into the exciting world of the British monarchy with all its scandals and secrets. We’re interested in getting a glimpse of the private life of such a public figure. Also, truth be told, we’re hoping the show will fill the Downton Abbey sized hole in our hearts and TV schedules.

Catch up on these hits from summer 2016:

1. Stranger Things

What it’s about: When a young boy disappears, his mother, brother and the little town they live in are thrown into disarray. They must confront mysterious dark forces to bring him back.

Who is in it: Apart from a host of breakout young actors who have now become stars in their own right, the show includes a terrific performance by Winona Ryder.

Why you should watch it: If you haven’t already watched this blockbuster summer phenomenon of a show, you’ve probably heard enough friends gush about it. A few good reasons to watch it are: if you are an 80s child or are a fan of the 80s, especially the sci-fi films of the era. The Duffer brothers pay homage to all the most famous pop culture icons of the time period, from its literature to its films, music and its style of storytelling. The show is also a superbly crafted mystery-thriller that will keep you at the edge of your couch while you binge-watch all the episodes over one sleepless night. Finally, one of the best reasons to watch the show is to see the fantastic performances of the child actors, all of whom already have a fervent fan base in Hollywood actors.

2. The Night Of

What it’s about: After a night of partying with a strange woman, a man finds himself accused of her murder, when she is stabbed to death.

Who is in it: Co-created by Steven Zaillian, who also has writing credits on films like Schindler’s List, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and American Gangster among others. The show includes a career-making performance by Riz Ahmed, and also stars John Turturro.

Why you should watch it: This HBO series based on BBC’s Criminal Justice is a gripping crime-drama that takes a long, hard look at the criminal justice system and its victims. This is a tautly-paced, well-crafted show that has captivated viewers around the world.

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